I WITNESSED the battle for Britain 80 years ago when our local skies over Southampton were literally filled with row upon row of German bombers with not a single Ack-Ack gun or fighter to oppose them.

If our local Ack-Ack gun site was to open up it would be immediately bombed so it ceased firing once the enemy was in sight, which gave most German bombers a free run of the skies over my house to their targets at the airport beyond.

Living as I did, on top of a hill, I saw row upon row of bombers pass visually directly over my house to bomb the adjacent airport and aviation factory with not a sign of interference at all from either guns or RAF fighter command.

The next day we walked our town’s main high street to find not a single shop or house left standing and had to climb over the rubble-strewn street to make progress.

The only fire support we had came from a local Ack-Ack gun and barrage balloon site at the bottom of our road manned mostly by women and during raids it would get peppered with machine gun fire and incendiary bombs as did our nearby house and garden.

Douglas Mills

Fraser Road, Poole